This Guide is designed to get you started using this service and deals with the most frequently asked questions by users making use of this website:

Find an Act

By browsing

When you click on the browse button you are presented with a list of Acts of the Oireachtas, presented by decade. Click on the year to see a list of Acts for that Year.

Click on the Act Title and the Act will be presented in your browser window.

By Searching

Search ButtonThe fastest way to find specific information is by searching. The search form is accessed via the search button on the site tool bar. Click on the search form and the search interface loads.

Search Screen

The Search Interface

Searches may be run against Long Titles, Short Titles, Sidenotes, or in the entire body of the Act.

The results can be restricted to return a maximum number of hits (25 is default) and further restricted by year range, start and end, Act number or section number.

For example, if you want to know how many Acts occurring between 1978 and 1990 had welfare in the Title and made reference to children in the body of the Act, the search request would look as follows:

Search screen with fields completed

Press Search to carry out the search.

The results are presented in the results window.

Search results window

Click on the title to open the page. Document hits are highlighted in yellow

Resulting Act with highlighted words

Full Boolean search Syntax is supported (see below for a comprehensive list of supported search operators).

Search Syntax

The following Search Operators are supported within the search interface.

An exact phrase finds only the commented terms for example 'Finance Act' will only find that exact phrase within the database

Boolean AND logic operator. Searches for records containing both of the words it separates.

Boolean OR logic operator. Searches for records containing either of the words it separates.

Boolean NOT logic operator. Searches for records containing the query word preceding it without containing the word following it. E.g. cat NOT dog

NEAR operator. Functions as bi-directional proximity operator if word range (e.g. deficit near/3 spending) is specified. If no word range is specified, functions as bi-directional adjacency operator.

Adjacency operator. Searches for records in which the query word that follows it appears immediately after the word preceding it.

Proximity operator. Searches for word pairs in which the pair's second term occurs within a specified number of words after the first. Example: amphibian W/5 DNA finds records in which DNA occurs within five words after amphibian.

Wildcard operator for a single character; matches any one character.

Wildcard operator for strings; matches any string. Examples: micro* matches microscope, microcomputer; *late matches relate, translate.

Stemming operator; forces a word stem (if search stemming is off). Example: run+ finds run, runs, and running.

Exact match operator; forces an exact word match (if search stemming is on). Example: run# finds run, but not runs or running.

Thesaurus operator; replaces the word before the operator with its synonyms from the thesaurus. Example: satellite@ is replaced by synonyms listed for satellite in the thesaurus.

Concept operator; automatically generates a list of words related to the word before the operator; searches for, retrieves, and ranks all records containing those related words; hit words are highlighted.

Link from one Language Version of an Act to the other

Irish icon: [GA]When viewing an English Language Act simply clicking on the icon found on the left-hand side of the screen will switch your view to the same location in the Corresponding Irish Language version of the Act.

Browser back buttonUse the Browsers back button to return to the English Language Version.

View an English and Irish Act Side By Side

Split Screen LogoWhen viewing an English language Act, simply clicking on the Split-Screen button will change the browser setting to display an Irish Version and its corresponding English version of the Act side by side.

Browser back buttonUse the Browsers back button to return to the English Language Version.

Print an Act

To print the section of the Act that is on your screen, simply select File and then select Print or Press CTRL+P.

Print PreviewTo print an entire Act, click on the Print Preview Button. This will present a copy of the Act in your browser window. Press CTRL+P to print.

Save An Act to Your PC

To save an entire Act or section of an Act to your PC, select the File menu and select Save As to save the file to a location on your PC. A file saved as HTML or HTM can be opened and edited by most Word Processors.

If you want to save the entire Act we recommend that you select the Print Preview function to generate a copy of the Act and then use the File, Save As function to save it to your PC.

Copy and paste the text of an Act

To copy content from the browser window, simply highlight the text you want to copy and select Copy from the Edit menu OR press CRTL+C.

To paste the content in your application open the application select the Edit menu and Paste OR press CTRL+V.